Petering Out … April 26, 2013

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jon St. PeteLong before we abandon our faith, we lose our perspective. Our passion “peters out” because we forget how to use what we are.

It reminds me of a story of a guy named Peter. He was a fisherman–at least, that’s how the story goes. But considering he was a fisherman, this dude had more trouble with boats and water than any “landlubber” ever dreamed. Somewhere along the line he had convinced himself that his particular occupation, pursuit of life, and dreamscape was difficult.

Matter of fact, the first time he met Jesus, he was casting his net into the sea from the shore. Now, this is not exactly the most effective way to catch fish. Everyone knows that only the little guppies exist near the shoreline. But apparently, the previous night’s escapades in the boat were not successful, so in desperation, he just started throwing in a net from the sand. Or who knows? Maybe his ship was full of holes.

He was in a boat one night in the middle of a storm and his friend, Jesus, came walking on the water to join him and his buddies. For some unexplained reason, Peter decided he needed to walk on the water, too. It wasn’t necessary. Jesus didn’t come strolling to their aid to get everybody in the pool. But Peter was so insecure that he wanted to be better than everybody else around him in the storm, so he ended up nearly drowning in the process.

And after Jesus was killed and Peter felt great guilt over denying him to the officials, he stomped off in a huff to go back to fishing–even though his life had been permanently altered by the experience of being with his Nazarene friend.

He is an excellent example for us because at one moment, he’s being heralded as “a rock” and in the next moment he goes back to his former behavior and is dubbed “satan.”

What causes all of us to “peter out?” We make one of two mistakes, which actually end up being the same error:

1. “I’m so bad that no one could ever love me, so I will pretend that I am not worthy of being blessed.”

2. “I’m so good that everybody should love me, so what the hell is wrong with the world?”

What’s missing in both cases? An honest assessment of who we are.

Let me be the first: I am a fat, bald, aging man with bad knees who has been blessed with talent, which I have multiplied, and in the process of doing so, I have learned to be more tolerant of others and generous in my spirit with the world around me.

There you go. As long as I keep that in mind, I am balanced, humorous and useful.

Tonight I head to St. Peter Lutheran Church in Elgin, Texas. They named their church after that fisherman, who thought he could get a good catch by standing on the shore instead of getting in the boat.

Are we much different? No. But remember–God doesn’t love us because we’re going to be saved and escape humanity. God loves us because we’re humans and we can escape the fear of being so, and end up saved.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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